Addressing violence and harassment against women in the world of work

All women and men have the right to live and work free from violence and harassment. However, while this is generally accepted, violence and harassment remains pervasive throughout the world of work. It affects all jobs, sectors and occupations. It has serious consequences for workers, their families and communities, as well as forenterpr ises’ reputations and productivity.

Violence and harassment against women in the world of work – the topic of this Handbook - hampers women’s empowerment and their access to and progress in the labour market. It also affects the sustainability of the economy in general and perpetuates occupational gender segregation. Violence and harassment against women is often rooted in unequal gender power dynamics, gender stereotypes, patriarchal values and historical inequalities between men and women.

Recently, global movements have raised their voices against this phenomenon, calling for real change to achieve safe, healthy and respectful work environments for all women. There is hope – and it is coming from the world of work itself.

As the second centenary of the International Labour Organization begins, and the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action approaches, the ILO and UN Women are proud to present this Handbook. It provides a glimpse into emerging good practices to address violence and harassment against women in the world of work, by governments, employers, workers and their organizations, and civil society. We hope that, through its systematic compilation of lessons and practical actions, the Handbook will make an important contribution to decent work and gender equality for all.